BASTION MOUNTAIN RANCH - TALES OF A FARM FAMILY


My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Black Widow

The "farm boat", would, occasionally make a departure from it's work duties, be cleaned up and used to transport it's owners to social events.  A popular destination was Sicamous. 
 Sicamous has a long history of social activity, being first inhabited in the 1800s by the Secwepemc nation.  In this area they were called the Schickamoos, with the Narrows between the Shuswap Lake and Mara being known as a "meeting place of Indians".  Upon the driving of the Last Spike of the CPR rail at Craigellachie in 1885 Sicamous became home to settlers, arriving primarily at first from Finland. 
The people of Ferme Fleur de Lys benefited from the various services and activities available in Sicamous.  A store and jail were constructed in 1892, and a post office in 1904. The first school was constructed in 1908. In the early 1900s the CPR added to their famous chain of hotels by constructing the gorgeous Sicamous Hotel.  The hotel was Tudor style with 75 rooms and a large elegant dining room.  The hotel was demolished in 1964. It was in this hotel that  Augustin, Renee, Edmond and other locals attended the wildly popular dances.  Renee became known as the "Black Widow" at these events due to a very becoming black dress she wore combined with her love of dance. 
Dressed up to attend the popular dances at the Hotel Sicamous. Edmond and friends moored in front of the Hotel Bellevue where the store and post office were also located. 


The Hotel Bellevue, circa 1910 from the Bedford Collection. Photographer Rex Lingford. Credits to www.oldphotos.ca


The Hotel Bellevue with the surrounding business area; general store, post office and boat houses.  Circa 1910, photographer Rex Lingford from the Bedford Collection. Credit to www.oldphotos.ca


The CPR Sicamous Hotel, circa 1929, Wilson Collection. Credits to www.oldphotos.ca

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Boats I have loved......

There is a nostalgia associated with the use of boats as a farming tool as well as a uniqueness.  These work boats differed drastically from the speed boats we see on the lake today, with their closest cousins being the current tug boats that slowly troll the lakes.  There was an honesty and simpleness to their construction that emphasized frugality and practicality over a showy appearance.  The road brought an end to these boats on the Ferme Fleurdelys as well as the use of the lake as a transportation route which no longer made necessary the risky passage of farm goods over the frozen expanse of ice.
Edmond and friends in one of my favorite boats.
The little work boat being loaded up with farm products ready for departure to Sicamous.

People traveled in their boats for visiting with others along the lake no matter what time of year.  In this photo a mother with her children stands on the shore with Renee. The snow along the lake shore is an indicator of the cold weather.

Traversing the lake with supplies and products in the winter months.

"Many shores I have sailed to in my canoe,
often against strong winds.
Choose the tree well my brother,
if it is to carry you to distant shores."

Chief Dan George